A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's something for the whole family at this site, from the youngest scribblers to the most skilled designers. One problem with a site this large is that it tries to do too many things at the same time. It's a little too easy to get off the kid's area and into the parents' and educators' sections. That's not a problem, content-wise, but kids will definitely like their area best. Crayola also owns the domain CrayolaKids.com -- they might think about spinning that site off on its own.
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What's it about?
According to the Crayola site, every year U.S. kids spend 6.3 million hours coloring. Crayola wants to encourage kids to spend even more time in this offline activity. Their website gives families lots of ideas and opportunities to spend time together both online and offline. It includes a large searchable database of projects, lesson plans for educators, and engaging games for everyone.
Is it any good?
Some of the games might be a little tricky for the youngest players. For example, in "Rainbow, the Spouting Trout," one child might be assigned to select the correct color while another is tasked with aiming the fish's spout. But the whole family will enjoy playing with the "Fireworks Spectacular" tool. Select from a palette of fireworks and arrange them on an event timeline. Then start the show and watch your pyrotechnic choreography light up the sky.
Most of the games allow players to print the resulting images, so they can be colored (with Crayola crayons, of course!). There's also a huge ditty bag of craft ideas, with clear directions, plus suggested books and videos to go along with each project. We do miss the detailed tour of How a Crayon Is Made that used to be on the site. There's a stripped-down version, but it serves mostly as a teaser to attract visitors to the Crayola Factory destination in Easton, Pa.